IPSL Greece: Refugees, Migration, Resilience & Micro-Entrepreneurship

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The IPSL program in Greece is a unique opportunity to get involved in hands-on learning in a part of the world that is at once ancient and modern, urban and rural. There are so many choices (and reasons) to experience the IPSL Greece program.

Explore Greek culture, both ancient and modern through a lens that examines the local sustainable Micro-Entrepreneurship movement, social responsibility, Europe's refugee crisis, immigration and more. Students can do field work and research as they explore micro-enterprise in action with local greek family businesses.

IPSL specializes in volunteer-based study abroad programming. All programs are credit-bearing and will provide an official transcript upon completion of the program.

On average, 15 HOURS per week will be spent volunteering in addition to 6-21 semester credits worth of course work. Our programs are small cohorts of dedicated, service-minded students who that receive individualized attention from our staff.

  • Experience Greece like a local...not a tourist! Students live with a Greek family which enriches and deepens the experience. Make life-long friends, gain better language proficieny and get to know the culture from "the inside"!
  • Volunteer Service that addresses real human needs! Volunteer with organizations that serve Refugees; support the homeless & at-risk youth; work with disadvantaged pre-school & primary school children; fight discrimination; and much more!
  • Explore community organizing and social activism (COSA) with the goal of learning how to effectively translate these ideas & techniques into a concrete knowledge of social activism.
  • IPSL is a Social Benefit Organization with over 83% of profits directly returned to the people, communities & NGOs they partner with abroad.
IPSL is a registered Social Benefit Organization that is committed to its mission and dedicated to promoting an ethic of service. We invest over 83% of our revenues directly back into the communities where we serve.

Questions & Answers


9 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 66.67%
  • 7-8 rating 33.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 7.3
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.3
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
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Yes, I recommend this program

IPSL Semester Thessaloniki

This was the first time the program was run independently from any school and it was a bit disorganized.
My service site (the main reason I did this program) was an 2:30 hrs away from where I lived and getting there was pretty expensive. The program director gave me 100€ to pay for the transportation but it only covered one of the three months I was there. I found my own service in the city and volunteered there as well. The program was only two students and this made socializing hard. Overall, it was a good experience but there was still some things that need to be taken care of if they want to have a very successful program. My host family was great, the food was always excellent and Thessaloniki is a fun city to live in. I wish I had spoken Greek and had more Greek classes.

What would you improve about this program?
There needs to be more organization with the program, especially academically.
3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A hands-on, interactive cultural experience

During my time in Thessaloniki, Greece, I had the opportunity to learn about and experience Greek culture through a variety of hands-on opportunities. I had the privilege to volunteer with refugees in Thessaloniki, go on many guided tours of the city, experience a wine and olive oil tasting, and go on a few excursions to nearby towns - including a day hike on Mount Olympus. I really feel as though I had a well rounded experience during my time in Greece, and would love to do it all again. IPSL did a great job facilitating my experience not only in Greece, but also my experiences in Spain and Italy, which were also included in my program.

What would you improve about this program?
This program could be improved by having more immersion activities. The immersion activities that I experienced during my program were great, however I wish there were more opportunities for this kind of experience. Although I felt like I learned a lot about Greek culture, I would have loved to go out in the community more and had the opportunity to really interact with the locals.
3 people found this review helpful.
Response from IPSL Global Institute at NUNM

Hi Jayne...thank you so much for your kind review. I'm sorry that you did not have as much interaction with the local people as you desired. On short term Faculty-Led programs (like yours) our structure needs to be altered to allow the faculty to incorporate their required material. This often cuts into activities that would normally be a part of all IPSL programs such as living with a homestay family to experience family life and participating in 15+ hours of volunteer service with our grass roots, community organizations. These elements as well as the opportunity to do advocacy research with our partners provide in-depth interaction with locals and immersion in their culture that is not possible on other type of programs. IPSL tries to incorporate as much of these experiences as we can in every type of program and I am pleased that you were able to take part in some of these things.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Truly Immersive, One-of-a-kind Experience! Unlike any other Study Abroad

My experience with IPSL in Thessaloniki was truly life changing. I know that is a bit of a cliche to say that but I can honestly say that the programming components of this experience took my study abroad experience beyond what I was expecting and what I had experienced on other study abroad programs. As this was my second time studying abroad I was very particular about what kind of program I was looking for. I wanted something that gave me a look into Greek life. I definitely found that with IPSL through their course work, homestays and my service on the farm. The service I completed on the dairy farm in Thessaloniki was actually the most powerful aspect of my time there. Working along Greek students and dairy professionals I gained a whole new sense of animal production, Greek lifestyle, European politics and more. I especially cherish my time where we took breaks in the dairy farm labor to have frappes (foamed, sugary, iced coffee) and talk about their lives and farming in the context of Greece. I learned more then I've ever learned in a agriculture course in those few months I was there. Nothing beats hand on experience in helping you better understand a culture, people, and way of life. I could not recommend this program enough to other students wishing to do something a little different and more meaningful for their study abroad experience!

What would you improve about this program?
Since we were serving at a school where other Greek students go I would have liked to interact more with them in my course work and service. I actually did interact with them a lot in my service but not so much in my course work. I do think that the fact I was there over summer had something to do with that as many of the students were on holiday.
3 people found this review helpful.